Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Watch The Gap

I've noticed something that disturbs me a little. It seems like there's a generational divide when it comes to MLB Network. Many people younger than me don't care about anything related to the history of baseball, only watching the "Hot Stove" show and wishing the network was all fantasy stuff. Whereas I eat up all the history stuff. But I've been into baseball history since I was a little kid. To me, it's such an integral part of the game. So maybe it's just that young people in 2009 have so much other stuff going on that if they care about baseball at all, it's pretty much limited to the past couple of seasons.

And I say "terrible job" by them. Or maybe it's the fault of their parents, who are too busy with their own stupid Facebook pages to monitor their own kids' sex messaging, let alone teach them about the Gas House Gang.

I'd rather watch a random Mariners game from '82 than a current game that doesn't affect the Red Sox.

Maybe the problem of these people is that their fantasy team has no history. If you want, I can do a nine-part documentary on my '89 rotisserie team that I did through the mail, repeatedly refusing to trade Greenwell for Mattingly. Maybe they could relate to that kind of history more.....

Anyway, I watched Inning Nine of Ken Burns's Baseball tonight. And I got a sense of pride from watching the parts about "my" era. Baseball had become colorful, and not just over the air. It was unique if nothing else, with its double-knit threads, fake grass, and designated hitter. But there were so many great stories, the ultimate being the '75 Series. They went into it in depth, showing all the key moments from Game 6, not just Fisk.

Seeing stuff like this makes me wonder how any baseball fan could be ignorant about the game's history. I've been "waving the ball fair" for as long as I could remember. Nobody had to force the '75 World Series on me as a seven year old in 1982--I saw highlights on TV and I was hooked and wanted to know more. About that, and every other thing that happened all the way back to the beginning. I learned "03, 12, 15, 16, 18" as a kid and never forgot it. I saw "1912" on the Fenway Park sign the first time I saw a picture of the place. Some things you can't not know, but most things made me want to know more. This isn't school, it's baseball! Whenever I'm on the Fenway tour, I always want to yell out, "Is there a tour for people who knew all this stuff when they were four?"

It was a great inning, and now we look forward to the new episode. My one complaint about their showing of this documentary is how commercials kept cutting right into it. Twice, Bill Lee got cut off. That's blasphemy. A few times it cut to the ad right during really somber speeches. How do they let this happen in '09?

Oh, and Manny Ramirez was on at the beginning, on his high school team. I wonder if they specifically went to one of his games because of the hype surrounding him (there was even a close-up of a fan yelling, "Come on Manny, let's go Manny!") or if they just wanted a general example of young Dominicans playing ball in the U.S. And the one moment in this doc that has stuck with me the most since the day I saw it when it first aired--Doris KG talking about how she wouldn't watch Game 7 of the '86 series--was in tonight's episode. It was almost like I was connected to myself back when this was first on, much like the way baseball connects people from generation to generation. Ending with mine, apparently. Twitter bites! Get back to reality!

Morbid fact of the day: Did you know there have only been three guys named Aurelio in Major League Baseball? And all three died in auto accidents! If your name is Aurelio and you're any good at baseball, consider a new name. May I suggest Chan?


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Location: Rhode Island, United States